Windy Hill Farms’ Nates Mineshaft
took advantage of soft early fractions and led at every point of call
in a race named for the winner’s sire, the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap
for older horses at
1 1/16 miles.
Jesse Campbell guided the longest shot on the board through fractions of 25.30, 49.35 and 1:13.59 before
cruising home in a final time of 1:43.01, finishing 2 ¾ lengths to the good of Jim Tafel LLC’s
“This horse has gotten so good,”
said. “He’s improved so much in such a short time. He used to be a
little rank. He lets me ride him now and the horse is just full of
Nates Mineshaft, carrying 118 pounds, paid $29.60, $11.20 and $4, while Fast Alex returned $4.20 and $2.60.
Alma d’Oro made up ground despite a troubled trip to finish third and pay $2.20.
month’s Louisiana Handicap winner, pulled up on the backstretch and was
vanned off with an injury to his right-front leg. The horse was vanned
to LSU for surgery. The incident caused Alma d’Oro
to check nearing the half-mile pole.
Mineshaft, now four-for-four lifetime at Fair Grounds, improved his
overall record to 12-5-1-1 and boosted his earnings to $175,428.
“If you saw the last race, he was worth the opportunity to try him in here,” trainer
Austin Smith said. “He just
dominated that bunch. It wasn’t anything like this bunch but he is
four-for-four on the racetrack and we were here and didn’t have to ship
anywhere so we took a shot.”